Who better to teach tauira about business than kaiako Jarrad McKay who runs his own successful catering company Pūhā & Pākehā.
It’s proved to be a winning combination to have the food truck business co-owner delivering the Diploma in Business programme at Te Wānanga o Aotearoa, in many ways.
The Level 5, 36-week programme targets business owners who are ready to grow through the practical steps of project management via marketing, operations and any other area of choice.
Tauira learn how to plan, analyse risk, evaluate performance and most importantly, to be well-prepared to expand their business.
In Jarrad’s (Tainui/Ngāti Kahungūnu) personal experience, he took a gazebo, trestle table and one menu item and grew it into a retro caravan with up to 20 dish choices that features regularly at festivals and markets, weddings and corporate events.
Jarrad has mentored more than 200 businesses and understands too well, as an owner-operator and also as an educator, how much juggling is required to get assignments in on time.
“I love teaching business to business owners,” he says.
“It’s more practical-based in that you are teaching business to business people rather than theory to students. I’ve made some great contacts over the years.”
Engaging with people was one reason Jarrad and his wife Belinda, were inspired to get into street food in the first place, sharing “the kai of Aotearoa,” through Pūhā & Pākehā in 2014.
“New Zealanders embrace many international cuisines but our own kai is often overlooked,” Jarrad says.
Since becoming a food vendor Jarrad has noticed how effective their branding is thanks to shifting the association of the infamous 1960s song of the same name towards a more nostalgic direction.
“Pūhā represents Māori kai and Pākehā represents modern methods and flavours. The ampersand is a prominent part of the kōrero as the brand is about inclusiveness, bringing together people over food, kotahitanga, unity, and oneness,” Jarrad says.
“We get so much encouragement from people who love that we have breathed new life into traditional Māori kai. Lots of markets and events request us because they want to provide a New Zealand offering in the mix. We also cater weddings and corporate events.”
So whether you are after some contemporary hāngi-inspired home-cooked goodness, or wanting to take your business to the next level, Jarrad can do both.
“Our style is good home cooking. We want to deliver quality food, but we also want to be seen as good value and accessible to everyone,” he says.
“Just like Te Wānanga o Aotearoa, bringing quality education that is accessible to all.”